Book Review of Farrokh Text by Small Wars Journal

 

Kaveh Farrokh’s third text. Iran at War: 1500-1988-(ایران در جنگ (۱۹۸۸-۱۵۰۰– has been reviewed in the Small Wars Journal by Youssef Aboul-Enein on July 12, 2012.

 

 

Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Hardcover 480 pages, released May 24, 2011 • ISBN: 978-1-84603-491-6. Contact: John Tintera, Marketing Director @ 718/433-4402, john.tintera@ospreypublishing.com.

To order consult Chapters-Indigo or Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Cover jacket of Iran at War: 1500-1988. [CLICK TO ENLARGE] A photo taken in 1926 of a military assembly in Tehran. The troops are about to pose for a military review. Standing at far left with hand resting on sword is Colonel Haji Khan Pirbastami (of Northern Iranian origin). Note the diverse nature of Iranian troops, reminiscent of the armies of Iran since antiquity. Kurds, Azaris, Lurs, Baluchis, Qashqais, Persians, all partake as one in the assembly.  Colonel Haji Khan and the officer to the right are members of the Gendarmerie para-military forces. Haji Khan died just a year later when fighting as a colonel with the Iranian army against Bolshevik/Communist and Russian troops attempting to overrun northern Iran after World War One.  

Note that this text has also been reviewed by the Wall Street journal (click on icon below):

 

The Farrokh text has been reviewed by the Iran-based Library, Museum and Center of Manuscripts (see also –ارایه کتاب «ایران در جنگ: ۱۹۸۸-۱۵۰۰» در کتابخانه مجلس-).

The review by Youssef Aboul-Enein opens in the following fashion:

Dr. Kaveh Farrokh … has published a timely volume immersing readers in five centuries of how Persians have waged and conducted war.  The book delves deeply into the history and psychology of warfare and provides a grounding of how Iranians see threats and challenges today. 

The book begins with the Safavids, the empire that ruled Persia from 1501 to 1736, and was largely responsible for imposing Shiism in the region, making it the state religion and forcing the conversion of Sunni Muslims, Jews and Zoroastrians.  His insights are fascinating, and include the caste system introduced by the Arabs when they conquered Persia, which led to a yearning for an Islamic system that incorporated and respected Persian identity.  Shah Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid Empire, is detailed and we see a military leader who although was merciless towards Sunnis, personally provided medical care to his soldiers.  Shah Ismail would battle the Uzbeks, Portuguese, and Ottoman.   

[Click to Enlarge]Shah Ismail as depicted by a European painter – the painting is now housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Italy. Note the Latin terms “Rex Persareum” [Monarch of Persia] which makes clear that Shah Ismail was the king of Safavid Persia or Iran. Despite being hopelessly outmatched by the Ottoman armies in manpower and firerams, Ismail stood his ground in Chaldiran on August 23, 1514. Despite their victory, the Ottoman Turks, who had also sufferred heavy losses,  failed to conquer Iran.

Note then the following observation about the Safavids by Youssef Aboul-Enein:

It was under Shah Abbas I that the Persian army began to acquire gunpowder, and readers will be surprised to learn of the intrigues between the Shiite Muslim Empire of the Safavids and various European monarchs wanting to use the Safavids to divert the growing power of the Sunni Ottoman Empire.  Imagine what the Ottomans could have accomplished if it were not for the Shiite Safavid Empire challenging the eastern edges of their empire

 

Rare drawing by a European traveller who witnessed the aftermath of the liberation of Tabriz by Shah Abbas I on October 21, 1603. Local Azari citizens welcomed the Iranian Safavid army as liberators and took harsh reprisals against the defeated Ottoman Turks who had been occupying their city. Many unfortunate Turks fell into the hands of Tabriz’s citizens and were decapitated (Picture Source: Matofi, A., 1999, Tarikh-e-Chahar Hezar Sal-e Artesh-e Iran: Az Tamadon-e Elam ta 1320 Khorsheedi, Jang-e- Iran va Araqh [The 4000 Year History of the Army of Iran: From the Elamite Civilizaiton to 1941, the Iran-Iraq War]. Tehran:Entesharat-e Iman, p.63). Had the Ottomans not been embroiled in Iran and the Caucasus, their armies could have advanced much deeper into Europe.

Youssef Aboul-Enein then notes the following regarding the military career of Nader Shah:

The section on Nader Shah is exquisite, and contains a few unique tactical innovations, like the use of camels with incendiary materials sent within the ranks of Elephants causing them to panic and turn against their Mugal opponents.  Reading Nader Shah’s campaigns matter for it will give you a grounding on fighting in the terrains as varied as Iraq to Afghanistan.  After the Shah Tahmasp I was attacked by the Ottomans, Afghans and Russians, the Safavid Persian Empire was carved up between these powers.  Nader Shah would reorganize the Persian Army and would be instrumental in restoring the Persian Empire created by Shah Ismail and Abbas, he would also put aside the weak figurehead Shah Tahmasp II and assume rule evolving from Nader Khan to Nader Shah, he is right or wrong Islam’s Napoleon and just as controversial.  Nader Shah use of a highly mobile light cannon, the Zanbourak, that can be packed on camels and set up quickly to amass firepower is a must read. 

 

[CLICK TO ENLARGE] A painting of the Battle of Karnal (February 22, 1739) made by Mosavar ol-Mamalek.The battle ended in an overwhelming victory for Nader Shah (see his statue in the inset photo). The Iranians then occupied Delhi and captured India’s royal jewels. Some Indian historians (i.e. Sarkar) have argued that India was severely weakened by Nader Shah; this allowed the British Empire to easily spread its dominance over the entire Indian subcontinent just decades after the battle of Karnal (picture source: R. Tarverdi (Editor) & A. Massoudi (Art editor), The land of Kings, Tehran: Rahnama Publications, 1971, p.228).

The review then discusses the book’s sections on the Zands, Qajars, and Pahlavis. Youssef Aboul-Enein then concludes: 

The section on the Iran-Iraq War is a must read and offers a fresh narrative of the tactics used by the Islamic Republic against Saddam’s armies.  My only critique is that I would have liked to have seen a discussion or even section on Iranian use of proxies like Hizbullah to asymmetrically undermine their adversaries.  That said, the book is recommended for anyone interest in warfare generally, the Middle East, and even Afghanistan.  In short, this is the kind of book worthy of discussion in America’s War Colleges of the 21st century.

 

[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Elements of the Iraqi 12th Armored Division assemble at Fakkeh (in the Dezful area) on March 23rd 1982 to rescue remnants of the Iraqi 4th Army Corps crushed by a powerful Iranian offensive (Left – Steven J. Zaloga, Modern Soviet Combat Tanks, Osprey Vanguard  37, pp.32).  As these units deployed to attack, they were bombed and strafed by up to 95 Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft.  The Iraqi 12th Armored Division was virtually eliminated. At right are Iranian regular army troops atop an overturned Iraqi tank of the 12th armoured division (source: www.shahed.isaar.ir). Note that the vehicle has been overturned as a result of aerial bombardment by Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft.  For more see Pars TV (August 27, 2011).

Book Review of Farrokh by Iran Museum and Center of Manuscripts

Kaveh Farrokh’s third book, entitled -(ایران در جنگ (۱۹۸۸-۱۵۰۰-Iran at War: 1500-1988 has been reviewed by the Iran-based Library, Museum and Center of Manuscripts –کتابخانه، موزه و مرکز اسناد

Below is one excerpt of that review:

-فرخ با تحلیل جنگ های مذهبی و غیرمذهبی رخ داده در این مدت به ما نشان می دهد که چگونه ایران از همه طرف (شرق، غرب، جنوب) و در دوره های مختلفی مورد هجوم همسایه هایش قرار گرفته است… تحلیل های فرخ از انقلاب اسلامی و جنگ ایران و عراق، اطلاعاتی در مورد پیشینه نظامی ایران در اختیار ما می گذارد که تا به حال مطرح نشده است.-

Farrokh has analyzed the religious and non-religious wars and has demonstrated how Iran has been attacked by its neighbors from all sides (east, west and south) over several periods…Farrokh’s analyses of the Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq war provides us information that has hitherto remained unmentioned…”

[Click to Enlarge]Modern-day Lur rifleman of the type that formed the backbone of the armies of Karim Khan Zand (1705-1779) (Picture source: courtesy of Mehdi Dehghan). Below the Lur warrior is a picture of a Zand era Iranian gun with a British percussion cap mechanism fitted to the barrel of the firearm (Picture source: Khorasani, Maouchehr, Mosthagh (2009), Persian Firearms part Three: The percussion Cap Lock. Classic Arms and Militaria, pp.22-27).

Kindly note that the Farrokh text has been reviewed by other major venues such as the Wall Street Journal (click icon below for details…)

The review by the Iran Library, Museum, and Center of Manuscripts concludes by noting that:

-جمع آوری و طبقه بندی اطلاعات تاریخی حدود ۵ قرن یک کشور کار بسیار دشواری است و به نظر می رسد کاوه فرخ، به خوبی از پس آن برآمده است-

The compilation and categorization of historical information spanning five centuries is a very difficult task and it would seem that Kaveh Farrokh has done well in achieving this.”

[Click to Enlarge] (Left) Young Lur women from Malayer pose with their pistols and rifles circa early 1960s. The women of Luristan often accompanied their husbands to battle in the armies of Karim Khan Zand and were famed for their skills with firearms, archery and horseback riding. Many of these traditions endure to this day among the Lurs. (Picture source in Facebook, with special thanks to Shahyar Mahabadi and the Moradi clan) (Right) Pre-Islamic tombstone of a female warrior in Malayer. Iranian women have often been cited as warriors, one example being the presence of female fighters in the armies of Shapur I in the 3rd century AD (Picture source in Facebook, with special thanks to Shahyar Mahabadi and the Moradi clan).

Farrokh has also been interviewed on a number of major media outlets on his third text (see for example interviews in Voice of America, (August 14, 2011) and Pars TV (August 27, 2011).

The University of British Columbia’s Asian Studies program recently gave Kaveh Farrokh a tribute acknowledging his long association with the University of British Columbia – kindly see video showing the distinguished Professor Harjot S. Oberoi who is a world-class historian at the University of British Columbia’s Asian Studies program.

Address by Professor Harjot S. Oberoi of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Asian Studies Department: Introduction to “An Evening with Dr. Kaveh Farrokh – Sassanian Architecture” (Monday March 12, 2011). This talk  was given as part of the overall drive by the UBC Asian Studies department to promote support for the University of British Columbia’s Iranian Studies and Persian language initiative.

Farrokh’s text in also being increasingly consulted in various US and Western venues.

Select history books cited by Union University in November 2011 – note Union University History Department Chair, Professor Stephen Carls  (at right) displaying a copy of Farrokh’s Iran at War (for full report click here…).

 

Liberation of Tabriz from Ottoman Turks by Shah Abbas I

The Ottoman Turks had defeated the Iranian army of Shah Ismail I (r. 1501-1524) at the Battle of Chaldiran on August 23, 1514. In the disastrous aftermath of the ensuing Ottoman-Safavid wars, much of Iran’s Azarbaijan province (including its provincial capital Tabriz), Armenia (known as the Irvan Khanate in Medieval Iranian sources) and the Caucasus fell under the occupation of the Ottoman Turks.

[Click to Enlarge]Shah Ismail as depicted by a European painter – the painting is now housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Italy. Note the Latin terms “Rex Persareum” [Monarch of Persia] which makes clear that Shah Ismail was the king of Safavid Persia or Iran. Despite being hopelessly outmatched by the Ottoman armies in manpower and firearms, Ismail stood his ground in Chaldiran on August 23, 1514. Despite their victory, the Ottoman Turks, who had also sufferred heavy losses,  failed to conquer Iran.

The Ottoman Turks also occupied many of the Caucasian Khanates such as Irvan Khanate (modern Republic of Armenia) as well as much of those Caucasian territories (i.e. Shamakhi, Nakhchevan, etc.) known as the Republic of Azarbaijan since May 1918 (i.e. Shamakhi, Nakhchevan, etc.).

 

[Click to Enlarge]Recently published article by Kaveh Farrokh and Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani on the Battle of Chaldiran by major peer-reviewed military history journal based in Austria: Pallasch: Zeitschrift für Militärgeschichte, Organ der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Heereskunde. At left is the cover page of the journal; at center is a Safavid sword and a Qajar era painting of the battle of Chaldiran and at right are the profiles of the authors (in German). The peer board of Pallasch consists of high-ranking European military officers. The citation of the journal article for reference is: Farrokh, K., & Khorasani, M.M. (2012). Die Schlacht von Tschaldiran am 23. August 1514, Pallasch: Zeitschrift für Militärgeschichte, Organ der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Heereskunde. Heft 41, März 2012, pp. 47-71.

Despite their status as the world military superpower of the day, their deployment of heavy firepower (muskets and cannon) as well as larger numbers of troops, the Ottoman Turks failed to destroy the Iranian army. This was due to important military reforms (especially in the creation and integration of firearms units within the Iranian army) as well as a revived Iranian martial arts tradition (discussed further below).

[Click to enlarge]Iranian artilleryman of the type serving in the Iranian armies of Shah Abbas I during his campaigns which cleared the Ottoman Turks out of Western Iran (notably Luristan and Kurdistan), northwest Iran (especially Azarbaijan province) and the Caucasus in the early 1600s (Picture source: Historum.com). The Iranians facing the Ottoman armies in 1514 at the Battle of Chaldiran had no cannon or muskets; Shah Ismail and his cavalry suffered very heavy losses by repeatedly charging into the Ottoman lines in their endeavor to silence the Ottoman Sultan’s 500 cannon!

Important military reforms which had begun at the time of Shah Tahmasp I (r. 1524-1576) reached their apogee at the time of Shah Abbas I (r. 1587-1629), especially in the latter’s success in fully integrating firearms into the Safavid battle order. The latter task was assisted by the English brothers, Anthony and Robert Shereley.

Vincenzo D’Alessandri a European visitor to Iran arriving in 1571, reported that:

Persians are tall and strong… commonly use swords, lances and guns on the battlefield…Persian Musketeers use their muskets so adeptly…they will draw the sword at times of necessity…muskets are slung to the back as to not interfere with the usage of bows and swords…their horses are very well trained and they [the Iranians] have no need to import horses…” [As cited in Amiri, M. (1970). Safarnameye Venezian dar Iran [The Travelogues of the Venetians in Persia]. Tehran: Entesharat-e Kharazmi, pp.448-449].

Despite fielding smaller numbers of troops, the reformed Safavid armies of Shah Abbas I defeated the Ottoman Turks and liberated Tabriz from Turkish occupation on October 21, 1603 (after 20 days of fighting).

Rare drawing by a European traveller who witnessed the aftermath of the liberation of Tabriz by Shah Abbas I on October 21, 1603. Local Azari citizens welcomed the Iranian Safavid army as liberators and took harsh reprisals against the defeated Ottoman Turks who had been occupying their city. Many unfortunate Turks fell into the hands of Tabriz’s citizens and were decapitated (Picture Source: Matofi, A., 1999, Tarikh-e-Chahar Hezar Sal-e Artesh-e Iran: Az Tamadon-e Elam ta 1320 Khorsheedi, Jang-e- Iran va Araqh [The 4000 Year History of the Army of Iran: From the Elamite Civilization to 1941, the Iran-Iraq War]. Tehran:Entesharat-e Iman, p.63).

Note that the sources cited in this article thus far are clear that the Safavids are Iranians; they are consistently refered to as “Persians” in reference to their historical and cultural links to the wider Iranian mileau. Therefore, the fact that many of the Iranian Azarbaijanis had become Turcophone was simply another facet of their Iranian identity – Iranians are not limited to Persian-speakers only, as Iranian culture is multi-faceted and characterized by diversity and synthesis within an Iranian cultural framework.

Note the observations of a European traveller to Iran named Antonio Tenreiro in 1525 and his descriptions of the inhabitants of the city of Tabriz:

This city [Tabriz] is inhabited by Persians and some Turkomans, white people, and beautiful of face and person” [Ronald Bishop Smith (1970), The first age of the Portuguese embassies, navigations and peregrinations in Persia (1507-1524), Decatur Press, pp. 85-86.].

It should be noted that the Turkoman tribes cited above were religious followers of the Safavid dynasty (themselves originally of the Iranian pedigree but progressively Turkicized linguistically, hence of the Persianate civilizational realm). These had migrated from the Anatolian regions and became the military backbone of the early Safavid dynasty. It was these same Turcomens who had stood up with Shah Ismail against the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514.

It is clear that the Ottoman Turks had intended to hold Tabriz and all of Azarbaijan under permanent occupation. In a letter written by Shah Abbas to Jalal e Din Mohammad Akbar (the powerful emperor of India and contemporary of Shah Abbas, whom the Iranian king always addressed as father) after the liberation of Tabriz, he had noted that the Ottomans in Tabriz had:

“…200 cannon, 5000 musketeers…supplies lasting for ten years and much equipment for the holding of fortresses…” [Falsafi, N. (1965). Zendeganiye Shah Abbas Avval [The Life and Times of Shah Abbas the First] (6 Volumes). Tehran University, Volume IV, pp.22-23.].

 

[Click to enlarge] Shah Abbas I (r. 1587-1629) as depicted in a European copper engraving made by Dominicus Custos citing him as“Schach Abas Persarum Rex” or “Shah Abbas the Great monarch of Persia”. Note how Custos makes a particular emphasis on linking Shah Abbas to the “Mnemona Cyrus” (the Memory of Cyrus the Great of Persia). Shah Abbas’ victories over the Ottomans weakened them against the Europeans to the West, and especially in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

Shah Abbas I then thrust into the Caucasus to expel the Ottoman Turks from the Irvan Khanate and the rest of the Caucasus. The occupying Ottoman garrison of Irvan (Yerevan) city lost 2000 troops in just a few hours after it was forced by the Iranians into close-quarter combat; the Ottoman were then forced to surrender in June 1604.

 

[Click to enlarge] The Zoorkhaneh or “House of Power”. The Zoorkhaneh is the traditional Iranian martial arts school which has for centuries been an important medium for the training of Iranian warriors. The roots of this can be traced to the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition. At right is Pahlavan  (lit. brave intrepid champion) Mustafa Toosi wielding Zoorkhaneh meels at 60 pounds each (Picture source: Pahlavani.com). Meel training is one of the Zoorkhaneh regiments used for building strength, stamina, and overall physical strength. Each Meel can range from 25-60 pounds and can be as tall as 4 ½ feet. At left is Pahlavan Reza Zanjani with traditional Iranian weights  (Picture source: Abbasi, M. (1995), Tarikh e Koshti Iran [History of Wrestling in Iran], Tehran: Entesharate Firdows, page 133.).

The Iranian ascendancy over the Ottomans had much to do with the revival and promotion of Iran’s ancient martial arts tradition by the Safavids. As noted by Jean Chardin, a French Huguenot jeweller who had arrived in Iran in 1665:

“…the youth, much like the times of ancient Persia, are introduced to martial exercises…” [Abbasi, M. (1956). Siyahatnameye Chardin [The Travelogues of Chardin] (10 volumes). Tehran: Amir Kabir, Volume III, p.179.]

Yet another European travellor to Iran, Giovanni Battista Vecchietti reported the Iranians in the late 16th century as being:

“…expert in fighting with sword, lance and bow, and… greatly superior to the Turks in this” [As cited by Matthee, R.P., 1991, The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.394].

Regarding this topic consult Professor M. Haneda: Iranian Safavid Armies, Iran at War:1500-1988, 2011, pp. 28-41, 56-61 and Dr. Manouchehr M. Khorasani’s upcoming text “Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Traditional Martial Arts of Iran”.

[Click to Enlarge]Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani (at left in each photo) demonstrating hand to hand combat techniques in accordance with tradtional Iranian martial arts techniques. As the Ottoman Empire had vastly larger numbers of troops than Iran, the Safavids developed an excellent core of professional fighters who were often capable of standing up to larger numbers of Ottoman troops (Photos to appear in Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani’s upcoming text “Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Traditional Martial Arts of Iran”).

Shah Abbas I completed his defeat of the Ottomans by crushing their counteroffensive in Iran’s Azarbaijan province (November 6, 1605). He then cleared the Ottoman Turks out of Ganja and Shamakhi in the Caucasus by late June 1606 .

The Ottomans once again attempted to occupy Tabriz and Yerevan in 1616-1618, by deploying 200-300,000 troops and heavy firepower. Once again, they were defeated and expelled back into Ottoman territory by Shah Abbas I (see Iran at War:1500-1988, 2011, pp. 56-61).

 

[Click to Enlarge] (LEFT-Picture source: Yerevan.Am) Modern-day Yerevan and traditional Armenian churches; (RIGHT-Picture source: Historum.com) Safavid musketeer of the type contemporary to Iranian forces liberating Yerevan from the Ottoman Turks in 1604; it is notable that among the troops liberating Yerevan were musketeers from Iran’s Azarbaijan province.

Dr. Manouchehr M. Khorasani: Traditional Iranian Martial Arts

 

Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani, the world’s leading expert on the history of Iranian and Oriental arms. armour, firearms and traditional Iranian martial arts.See for example Dr. Khorasani’s lecture at M.I.T. on Iranian arms and armor from the Bronze age to the Qajar era. For more information on Dr. Khorasani’s works, consult his list of publications.

Note that Dr. Khorasani is the only person to have obtained two awards of academic merit in the field of Iranian Studies – he won the Book the Year Award in 2009 and well as the Book of the year Award in 2012. Dr. Khorasani’s first book (recipient of the 2009 award), Arms & Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period is also unique in that it is the first textbook of its kind to provide an exhaustive and detailed compendium on the history, development, description and analysis of Iranian arms and armor from the bronze age to the Qajar era.

Dt. Khorasani “Lexicon of Atms and Armor from Iran (which won the 2012 award) is the first academic book ever to be written on the lexicon and terminology of Iranian arms and warfare.

To rrder these books, please click on the Legat Publishers link or order directly from LEGAT Publishers: Alexander Frank (alexander.frank@legat-verlag.de)Tel. +49 (0) 70 73 / 30 24 49; Mobile +49 (0)179 / 453 61 21

   

The pictures seen below will appear in Dr Khorasani’s upcoming text:  “Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Traditional Martial Arts of Iran” .

 

[Click to Enlarge] Historical weapons of Iran (kard, khanjar, separ, gorz, tabar, neyze, akenakes, shamsher sasani, qame, qaddare, ir va kaman, pishqabz/deshne): part of the upcoming book by Dr Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani “Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Traditional Martial Arts of Iran” to be published soon

[Click to Enlarge] Koshti jangi (war wrestling) part of the upcoming book by Dr Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani “Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Traditional Martial Arts of Iran” to be published soon.

 

[Click to Enlarge]  Traditional workouts from the Zoorkhaneh (lit. House of Power) along with traditional Iranian martial arts and archery techniques. Dr. Khorasani has done much to restore and revive traditional Iranian martial arts.

 

[Click to Enlarge]Razmafsar

 

[Click to Enlarge]War wrestling (koshti-ye jangi). 

 

[Click to Enlarge]War wrestling (koshti-ye jangi)

[Click to Enlarge]Razmafzar: Persian swordsmanship and traditional martial arts of Iran

[Click to Enlarge]  Razmafzar, Dr. Khorasani’s project of reviving Persian/Iranian martial arts and swordsmanship is going very well. Now he has also our constitution (asasnameh) defining all steps and levels with names and techniques

[Click to Enlarge]Razmafzar: A Persian Fighting Art based on Persian manuscripts

 

Dr. Manouchehr M. Khorasani: Iranian Martial Arts and Swordsmanship

Iranian military history expert and martial artist, Dr. Manouchehr M. Khorasani has been very active in promoting the project of Persian swordsmanship.

Lexicon of Arms and Armor from Iran: A Study of Symbols and Terminology

Author: Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani

Publisher: Legat Publishers (Tübingen, Germany) (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 96276 645 9

To Order click on the Legat Publishers link or order directly from LEGAT Publishers: Alexander Frank (alexander.frank@legat-verlag.de)Tel. +49 (0) 70 73 / 30 24 49; Mobile +49 (0)179 / 453 61 21

Iranian historical fighting techniques arts gathered in the martial art of “Razmafzar” which, based on Persian manuscripts, include the training of the following historical weapons:

  • Kamān (bow)
  • Shamšir (sword)
  • Gorz (mace)
  • Tabar (axe)
  • Neyze (spear)
  • Kārd (knife)
  • Xanjar (dagger)
  • Pišqabz (dagger with a S-shaped blade)
  • Qaddāre (one edged short sword)
  • Qame (double edged short sword).

In addition to weapons training, Persian wrestling techniques as described by different mansucripts are trained extensively. These include a number of moves for throwing and even groundfighting.

Iran has been a multi-ethnic country since the Achaemenian empire and many influences and fighting arts of different Iranian tribes have been considered in the setting up of this project. The techniques are trained on foot as well as on horseback as described by Persian manuscripts. A number of experienced martial artists and historical fencers have already started to train in this ancient art

The following articles by Dr. Khorasani, on Persian swordsmanship and traditional martial arts from Iran have been published in peer-reviewed academic, military history and cultural journals thus far:

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010f). Persisches Bogenschießen Teil II. Traditionell Bogenschiessen, 3. Quartal 2010, 56, pp. 64-67.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010e). Persischer Schwertkampf. Pallasch: Zeitschrift für Militärgeschichte. Heft 35, 14. Jahrgang 2010, pp. 23-29.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010d). El Arma Sagrada: El Combate con Arco y flecha en Irán. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas, Volumen 5, Número 1, pp. 53–76.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010c). Persisches Bogenschießen. Traditionell Bogenschiessen, 2. Quartal 2010, 56, pp. 62-67.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010b). Belief Systems: Iran, The Principles of Javanmardi and Ayyaran, Shah-Nama, Recitations (Naqqali), Passion Plays (Ta’ziyeh). In: Svinth, Joseph R. and Thomas A. Green (eds.), Martial Arts of the World An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation, Volume 2: Themes. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 363-369.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010a). Iranian Martial Arts: Archery, Swordsmanship, Iranian Wrestling. In: Svinth, Joseph R. and Thomas A. Green (eds.), Martial Arts of the World An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation, Volume 1: Regions and Individual Arts. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 66-77.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2009e). Las Técnicas de la Esgrima Persa. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas. Volumen 4, Número 1, pp. 20–49.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2009d). El Combate con Armas Blancas Cortas en la Esgrima Persa. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas. Volumen 4, Número 2, pp. 38–53.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2009c). La Maza y el Hacha en la Tradición Marcial Iraní. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas. Volumen 4, Número 3, pp. 28–43.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2009b). La Lanza: El Arma Principal en la Tradición Marcial Iraní. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas. Volumen 4, Número 4, pp. 70–85.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2009a). L’Escrime Persane. Traduit par Francisco José Luis. La Revue de Téhéran. Mensuel Culturel Iranien en Langue Francaise. N. 49, Décembre 2009, 5e Annee, pp. 10-19.